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Mark and David are best friends, photo journalists going from war to war. In the spring of 1988, they're in Kurdistan, at an isolated mountain clinic, waiting for an offensive. David's had enough - he wants to go home to Dublin to his pregnant wife. He leaves, with Mark promising to follow in a few days. A week or so later, Mark's home after being wounded, but David's not been heard from. Mark's slow recovery and uncharacteristic behavior alarm his girlfriend, Elena, who asks her grandfather, a Spanish psychologist, to come to Dublin to help. Are there things the carefree and detached journalist is bottling up? Is he a casualty of war?Written by
This film deserved better than a straight-to-DVD release.
The story begins in Iraqi Kurdistan, shortly before Saddam Hussein gassed thousands of Kurds to quell a rebellion. Colin Farrell and Jamie Sives portray two photojournalists who ride along with the rebels. Because the Kurds have no real army or government, medical care given to the wounded is...frugal. Farrell's character, Mark, converses with a doctor who believes in relieving people's suffering. Mark initially finds it hard to understand the doctor's point of view. Sives' character, David, decides to quit rather than take one more chance and starts a long walk back from the front lines. The next thing we see is a wounded Mark (Colin Farrell) and we don't know what happened to David.
The rest of the film takes place in Ireland, sort of. It moves back and forth from scenes of Mark's life as the traumatized husband of a beautiful woman who feels locked out by his shell-shocked remoteness, and Mark's various wartime memories, as he describes them to his wife's grandfather, a therapist who once treated war criminals. The therapist starts to figure out from the threads of Mark's different stories what might have happened to David. What is fascinating is Mark's unconscious selection of images from his mind that inadvertently reveal the truth to the therapist. As a therapist myself, this was the most interesting part of the movie for me.
Farrell convincingly portrays a man wracked by grief and guilt. Christopher Lee is excellent as a somewhat egomaniacal healer whose political views differ from those of his daughter. The rest of the cast is also good and Paz and Farrell seem to have sexual chemistry.
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